Los Ecos De Manzanares: Cancionero De La Sablonara

Album cover art for upc 5028421959788
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Catalog: BRI95978
Format: COMPACT DISC

Boz Galana, La; León, Sebastián; Barroso, Guillherme; Agustí, Lore; Capeille, Louis

The Manzanares flows from the Sierra de Guadarrama and passes through Madrid, on its way to join the Jarama river, which in turn becomes swallowed by the mighty Tagus. On the banks of the Manzanares – ‘‘Los Ecos de Manzanaras’ – the young Madrileños of the 1700s would sunbathe and drive horses into the water. The river was as characteristic of the city’s life as the theatre, the nightlife, the guitar and the folía (Spanish dance). Under the leadership of Philip IV, Spain was a place of dreams and ambitions, with the New World just over the horizon. The king himself was a great lover of music and dance, and he cultivated a court of singers who could accompany themselves on the guitar. They were led for a period by Alvaro de los Rios (1580-1623) who attracted musicians from across the Iberian Peninsula and farther afield to enhance the cosmopolitan vibrancy of Philip’s court. The music included on this recording is representative of the transition from Renaissance polyphony to the new Baroque style: on one hand, there are madrigal-like pieces, with elaborate contrapuntal and melodic imitation, and on the other, completely homophonic compositions based on lively rhythms, dance patterns and poems of a popular nature, such as the seguidillas. The secular songs have been taken from a little-known collection, the Cancionero de la Sablonara composed for the Royal Court of Madrid during the first two decades of the 17th century. The collection features many names little known to us now, making the album full of exciting discoveries for lovers of the early Baroque. The songs are interspersed with contemporary instrumental pieces, played here by guitar, chittarone and Spanish double harp.

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